Learning on the Job

Since we have been an appellate lawyer all our professional life, this struck us between the eyes, but it is possible that it will have a similar effect on all lawyers, and provide them with an insight.

In the September 2012 issue of the ABA Journal, at p. 26, the widely admired legal lexicographer, Bryan Garner, interviews Justice Kagan, wherein he brings us the following dispatch:

[Garner]: Had you done very many oral arguments before you became solicitor general?

[Kagan]: I had not. I had not done any appellate arguments in my early days . . . at Williams & Connoly. But that had been 15 or 20 years earlier. So I was thrown into the deep end of the pool, shall we say.

[Garner]: Was your very first oral argument in the U.S. Supreme Court?

[Kagan]: My very first appellate argument was in the U.S. Supreme Court.

[Garner]: Wow! That’s incredible!

And so it is. Further your affiant sayeth naught.